GRAHAM, Texas (TNN) - The News Channel 6 City Guide is a segment that shines a spotlight on local businesses, events, and nonprofits across Texoma. This episode, we’re taking you to Young County for a look at the Fourth of July festivities that take place on America’s largest downtown square in Graham.
There is something for every member of the family to enjoy along with safety and social distancing precautions in mind. The Fourth of July festivities begins with a ceremony to honor those who have fought for our freedom.
“We start off the July 4th celebrations with an honorary ceremony. The first thing is to lay a wreath at the memorial [...] in memory of all of those from Young County who have died. We then honor them by name. We ring a Navy bell and call their name out and the American Volunteer Reserve answers, ‘not present but accounted for,‘” retired U.S. Air Force, Knox Bishop said.
Following the ceremony is a parade around the square. This year’s theme is America United. At the same time, an artistic display of patriotism begins.
“This is our third annual Chalk the Walk competition. The way it works is we invite artists, or people who just want to come and have fun, to come and draw a design. We designate spaces so we do need people to apply in advance,” Chamber of Commerce CEO, Krisa De La Cruz said.
You can apply here. There is no fee to participate and the application process is quick and easy. But if you win there a nice monetary reward and bragging rights, of course. The winner of the professional category will receive $1,000 and the winner of the amateur category will receive $100.
“We really wanted to have an event on the square that complimented our celebration of our Independence Day. And felt like this was a way our residents and visitors could come out and show some of their patriotism and their pride for our American independence by doing it in the form of a design,” De La Cruz said. “We also put out buckets of chalk throughout the square on the sidewalks for children or adults who love to draw to come and participate. [...] There’s plenty of room on the square to social distance.”
We spoke with past Chalk the Walk winners about their experience.
“I’m pretty involved in the community as an artist and I help out with a couple different things around town. I was asked to be in the contest and it’s a great way to bring the arts to the community,” local artist, Pecos McCool said.
If you’re planning on participating this year, McCool suggests bringing kneepads and a good attitude. He’s enjoyed taking part in the competition for the last couple of years and what it symbolizes for this community and the country.
“I believe it shows your pride for your country and I think it honors all of the things that took place in order to have our freedoms. Being a patriot is important,” McCool said.
“I’ve participated for the last three years beginning with the very first one we had. Krisa asked me to come out as a local artist to try and encourage others to. I had never done chalk art before and had never considered it. So, I went and kind of played around with it, enjoyed it and participated that year and it’s become one of my favorite art forms now. I look forward to it every year,” local photographer and artist, Cheyenne Wuthrich said.
It’s a community display of patriotism you don’t want to miss. Be sure to head to Graham this Saturday, July 4 to take part in all of the events.
“It’s a great family environment. There’s a lot of things to do. You can get it all done before it gets too hot and you can still head out to the lake or do whatever you’re going to do in the afternoon,” New Century Veterans Memorial Committee member, Dan De La Cruz said.
For more information, you can call the Graham Convention and Visitors Bureau at (940) 549-0401 or head to VisitGrahamTexas.com.
If you would like your business, event, or nonprofit featured on the News Channel 6 City Guide, contact Host & Producer Samantha Forester at firstname.lastname@example.org or (940) 757-0691.